Call for benefits to be shared equally

BNL president and CEO Mark Bristow (left) taking Prime Minister James Marape and his delegation on a tour at the mine site. – Picture supplied

LAGAIP-Porgera MP Tomait Kapili says the benefits from the Porgera gold mine should go through the district development authorities to facilitate programmes in Enga’s five districts.  He said the district’s positions would be made known during the development forum when discussions were held on economic participation. Kapili said their position paper would be submitted at the forum.

Some people from the Porgera Valley who said they suffered when the mine stopped last April.

Kompiam-Ambum MP Sir John Pundari thanked Barrick and the State for the framework agreement which Prime Minister James Marape handed over in Porgera last Friday. The deal provides that the Porgera mine will be owned by a new joint venture – 51 per cent by Papua New Guinea stakeholders and 49 per cent by Barrick Niugini Ltd (BNL). BNL will continue as the operator. Of the 51 per cent equity reserved the PNG stakeholders, 36 per cent was allocated to Kumul Minerals Holdings Ltd. Mineral Resources Enga will continue to hold 5 per cent interest in the mine.

Youths from Porgera Valley at the Paiam Oval, Enga, to witness the handover of the framework agreement by Prime Minister James Marape.

The additional 10 per cent interest would be held in a manner to be determined during the development forum. Sir John urged the people to share benefits equally, whenever the mine restarted. Governor Sir Peter Ipatas said the 10 per cent should go to Porgera valley, while the Enga government could keep 5 per cent for the rest of Enga.

BNL president and CEO Mark Bristow thanked all stakeholders working together in restarting the mine, including the security personnel, in Porgera Valley.

Sir Peter urged landowners to discuss the distribution of the 10 per cent. Prime Minister James Marape said the agreement would be the roadmap for the mine’s restart. “Landowners and affected communities in Porgera will be well-versed on the impacts of the mine, and the benefits they get as a province,” he said.  Marape further announced that the Government would set a date for a proper development forum for discussion on benefits. The mine is expected to restart before the year ends.